Joel Backon, Andrew Speyer and all the Choate folks have been most gracious hosts of the 2012 Technology and Learning Institute's conference. The Choate campus is beautiful and welcoming. One thing I noticed is many outdoor seating areas with a few wooden bench's to sit and relax or chat. The feel of the campus is peaceful and relaxing.
I have been a participant in the Teaching in the 21st Century workshop. Our instructors (Vi Richter from Exeter, Mike Peller from Holderness and Dick Peller from NMH) have had the challenging job of covering a ton of material in this ever changing technical environment. I am looking forward to investigating the options more and helping others with incorporating new tools into their courses. I would also like to create a course in Canvas for use at Andover to see how well all the pieces of Canvas work together. Although many of the class participants used MacBooks and iPads it was nice to see that Mike, Vi and I all used pc's with iPads and were able to get the same things accomplished as the rest. I was able to see the Apple TV Black Box in action, which could be very powerful in an iPad classroom (although could have drawbacks since it is a consumer product). In thinking about meeting students where they live we experimented with Twitter and one instructor spoke of her use of having students tweet about their nightly assignment and to respond to one other student's tweet and how this reduced the amount of work involved in trying to make sure the student did read/ accomplish the assignment, while making a mundane task interesting (and seem more public). It was agreed that students participate more thoughtfully when something is public to the class or even more so to the world.
Mingling with colleagues in other boarding schools is always a pleasure. We have many things in common, but also have different approaches to certain topics. There is so much to learn from each other. This workshop was not only beneficial within the classroom, but also an eye opener in friendly conversation. Topics ranged from what hardware requirements are for students and faculty at different schools to the philosophy and different approach to interdisciplinary courses.